Which Blue Jays are we watching in 2023?

It’s gone kind of quiet in the MLB blog section. That’s why we’re taking a look at some of the players in the Toronto Blue Jays that are peaking our interest going into the new season.

Here’s a handful of players that had an interesting 2022 season and they need to work on going into 2023.

Alek Manoah

October 7, 2022, Toronto, ON, CANADA: Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (6) works during first inning MLB postseason wildcard baseball action against the Toronto Blue Jays, in Toronto, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. (Credit Image: © Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via ZUMA Press)

Manoah has certainly made some progress since his debut season in 2021 with the Toronto Blue Jays, in 2022.

He excelled with 16 wins to 7 losses compared to 9 wins and 2 losses last season. His Hits and Runs have also increased thanks largely to getting more game time.

From 2021 to 2022, his hits have almost doubled from 77 to 144 and 55 Runs and 16 Home Runs. His Strikeouts have also increased from 180 from 127. He’s also garnered a WAR rating of 5.9 in 196.2 innings pitched. His Earned Run Average (ERA) has also dropped from 3.22 to 2.24

Monoah’s Walking + Hits and Innings Pitched (WHIP) also remains relatively consistent with a very slight drop from 1.05 to 0.99.

The only major gripe is his BABIP. It currently sits around .245, considerably lower than the .291 average of the league.

He has a promising season coming up.

José Berríos

November 18, 2021, TORONTO, ON, CANADA: José Berríos speaks during a press conference announcing his seven-year extension with The Toronto Blue Jays, alongside Ross Atkins, executive vice president of baseball operations and general Manager at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Thursday, November 18, 2021. (Credit Image: © Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press via ZUMA Press)

Berríos has a few things to sort out going into the new season. First off is his ERA.

The Right-Handed Pitcher’s ERA is the second-highest it’s been since he started his Major League career.

‘The Machine’s’ current ERA going into the new season is 5.23, almost 2 points higher than six years when he started with Minnesota Twins. It’s still dangerously high.

Second to that, he’s got to tighten up his WHIP. Last season he was sat on 1.42, also the second-highest it’s been since his his rookie season with the Twins (1.87).

In fact, his best WHIP was recorded during 2021 when he was between teams. It was 1.06.

The Blue Jays have shown a lot of trust in him but he needs to tighten up his game and focus so that he can reduce the amount of missed targets and hard contact.

Santiago Espinal

August 7, 2021, Toronto, on, Canada: Toronto Blue Jays’ Santiago Espinal throws out Boston Red Sox Enrique Hernandez at first base in the third inning of game one of a double header American League baseball game in Toronto on Saturday Aug. 7, 2021. (Credit Image: © Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via ZUMA Press)

Less is more is probably the best way to describe how Espinal will work in the 2023/24 season.

The infielder Shortstop came into the 2022 season with added muscle and an added punch to his slug but his season would be a tale of two halves.

His first would see him record a hit of .271 along with 6 home-runs, 37 RBIs and 21 doubles. His second would not be as industrious.

When he came back from the break, Espinal would hit .258, four doubles and only one homer. Perhaps he would’ve recorded more had it not been for his left oblique strain which had him out from mid-September and October.

Added to that is the fact that Second Baseman Whit Merrifield joined Blue Jays in August and the former Royals batter got more field time.

Looking forward

So that’s who we’re looking at going into the new MLB season and what’s more, we’ll get to see them get back into the swing of things when they report for Spring training.

Posted on: 02 Feb 2023